4 key points on factors associated with lumbar spinal fusion 90-day readmissions

Laura Dyrda -   Print  | Email

A new study published in Spine examines the 90-day readmission rate for lumbar spinal fusion in New York State.


Study authors examined the New York Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System for patients who underwent lumbar spinal fusion from 2005 to 2014. The study included 86,869 patients who were followed for 90 days after surgery. Study authors found:

1. The readmission rate was 24.8 percent within the first 90 days after surgery.

2. The factors associated with 90-day readmissions include:


• Patients 75 years old or older
• Female sex
• African American race
• Medicaid insurance

3. Several procedural factors also contributed to an increased risk of 90-day readmissions. The top factors include thoracolumbar fusions when compared to posterior lumbar interbody fusions and transforaminal lumbar spinal fusions as well as the number of levels fused — four to eight levels versus two to three vertebrae. Comorbidities, such as coronary artery disease, were also significantly related to readmissions.

4. Study authors concluded, "Our study risk calculation to determine high-risk patients before undergoing spinal fusion surgery to prevent early readmission improve quality of care and reduce healthcare expenditures."

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